Eric Hieb chasing golf dream in ArizonaEric Hieb won’t have to look back and wonder “what if?”
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
Eric Hieb won’t have to look back and wonder “what if?”
The 23-year-old golfer is fulfilling a dream he’s had for years.
Hieb, a 2008 Mitchell High School graduate, is playing in the All-American Professional Golf Tour, a developmental tour for the Professional Golf Association. The tour began in early November and runs until the end of February.
Hieb moved to Phoenix in mid-November to catch the third tournament of the series. He has played in three tournaments so far and has missed the cut after the second round in each tournament. Although he’s come up short, he improved his total score by two to four strokes each tournament.
He said his golf game has improved tremendously since committing his life to the sport this fall.
“I know for a fact that I’ve improved,” said Hieb, who practices from five to seven hours a day. “In the first tournament I was nervous as all get out, but now I’m finally starting to feel more comfortable.
“I knew it was going to be hard adjusting from the courses in South Dakota to the desert-type courses here. It’s a process getting my game to where I need it to be, but I’ve done better than the last in every tournament.”
Many golfers alongside Hieb have been on the tour for several years.
“You have to know every shot and where your ball is going at all times,” he said. “I’m trying to get to that point, so I can start building my earnings to keep playing.”
A membership plus entry fee for the tour cost roughly $10,000. Hieb is receiving sponsors from around 20 businesses and individuals in the Mitchell area.
“This has been a life-changing experience for me,” he said. “If I wouldn’t have done this, I would’ve always wondered. I can’t thank everyone who is involved enough.
“This is a win-win experience for me no matter the outcome.”
Hieb begins his fourth tournament at the Legacy Golf Resort today in Phoenix. One round is played Tuesday and today, and the top 40 golfers qualify for the third round, in which golfers are guaranteed winnings, Thursday.
“Every shot out here matters,” Hieb said. “I just have to make the cut once, and then I hope to build off that.”